Transracial Parenting »

Dealing the Race Card

I moved into one side of a shotgun double earlier this year, across the bayou from where I used to live and in the lovely back yard am greeted every day by this monstrosity, which I call HouseZilla:


From what I have gathered, the owner of this house took a small Creole cottage and began super sizing it all without any permits. Some neighbors sued and won, but the owner appealed and won. And now the neighbors have appealed that appeal. While all this appealing is going on, I’m stuck with unappealing.

Meanwhile, a friend’s daughter was over babysitting and I was standing outside with a gathering of neighbors and asked what the hold up was with this house because the construction that has been done will now need to be redone as this addition has been left exposed to the elements and by that I mean New Orleans elements – not pretty.

One neighbor said the owner has pulled the race card and so everything has gotten complicated. When she said this, my friend’s daughter who is African American and my son, also African American, were sitting in the living room playing. I didn’t want to continue the conversation because I wasn’t sure which way it was going.

Later, I asked again and found out the owner of the house, who lives in New Orleans East, is Black and that through her supposed connections was able to appeal and win when this has nothing to do with race but everything to do with lack of proper permits. The owner has never lived in the house and no one in the neighborhood knew her, much less knew she was Black.

So here we have a race card on the table and the larger question is who dealt it?


But since I was sitting in my backyard with a friend who is Black and she was describing to me an encounter of the worst kind where a friend’s brother had provoked an argument with her and then he got so mad he called her a N____ B____, and while she was recounting to me this disturbing event, I was looking behind her to HouseZilla and later, I really felt the best thing in that matter might have been the neighbors going to the owner and asking her how they can help her get what she wants that is not at the expense of what they want.

Cause once the lawsuits roll in, and the race card is on the table, someone might as well as called someone a N____ B_____ because all bets are off.


by Rachel Dangermond


July 4, 2013 - 6:41 pm

Haroon - Thank you, Keum Mee. This was a great blog with educational links to other apaenrts with transracial kids. As an adoptive parent in the beginning of raising my children, it was hard to find this type of information to aid me in my education about race. When I worked with our parent support group, I ran several adult adoptee panels in our area for parents in our group to hear about race and how it can affect our kids.One young man who was adopted from Korea and is a police officer told us that he always and I mean always carries his police ID with him whenever he is off-duty. He had experienced so many incidents of racial profiling that he felt safer when he carried his ID.In another more recent incident in my kids’ high school, a teacher was teaching ancient India history and religion. This teacher kept calling on my son’s friend who happened to be of the Indian race, but was raised here in Virginia, many times for his input on India’s history and religion. My son had to step up and defend his friend by reminding the teacher that his friend was born here in Virginia, and didn’t have much knowledge of the religions of ancient India.These types of incidents are the ones where I wish the agencies had thought through how much help we white parents would need when we parent children of color. I appreciate your links to these blogs. They will be a new resource for me. Thank you! Mary Coyle

April 12, 2013 - 10:25 pm

Rachel - Love it – and because it is limited to six words, you can’t put “white” in front of people, which gives it a universal appeal.

April 12, 2013 - 4:36 pm

Glenn Robinson - Good point. People often don’t use common decency. They could try just talking person to person and look for a win win agreement. Maybe this can be distilled into 6 words for Michele Norris’s “The Race Card Project”

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